Food Safety Is Critical to Public Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 48 million Americans (one in six) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne illnesses. Moreover, foodborne illnesses cost over $50 billion each year!
Foodborne illness is caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated by germs. Perhaps the food was not fully cooked or left out at room temperature. Perhaps someone who handled the food was sick or had germs on their hands. Even the simplest errors in food handling can cause someone to get a foodborne illness, and when this happens to two or more people, it is called a foodborne outbreak.
Educating food handlers is the best way to protect the public, food handlers themselves, and their families. Properly trained food handlers can improve food safety and reduce risks and behaviors commonly associated with foodborne illness and outbreaks.
Training Is Required by Law
Because foodborne illness and outbreaks can occur so easily, food handler training is required by law in many states. That means that employees may not handle food without valid proof of training. In addition, many states require food handlers to keep their food handler cards current by renewing them at legally defined intervals.
Well-trained Food Handlers Are More Valuable Employees.
Through training, food handlers gain important knowledge and skills that not only protect the public, themselves and their families from illness, but prepare them to take advantage of opportunities for thousands of jobs available in the foodservice industry. Employers who are hiring staff see well-trained food handlers as more desirable and more valuable employees.